I have blogged on many occasions my unhappiness with the performance or lack of it of the modern British police force. I cannot help a mental comparison of the modern British policeperson with the local bobby of my youth. In the fifties everyone knew the local bobby mainly because his house had a large badge on the outside wall.
He patrolled regularly particularly where gangs of youths gathered so woe betide you if you cycled down a jetty or swore in public or dropped litter. He was not beyond a smart backhander either if you mouthed him back and nearly every policeman looked like a man who could handle himself in a crisis. Above all however, he was your friend and you knew that if you needed help you could knock on his door. Consequently and I lived on a council estate and we had an orderly area and a much admired local bobby.
Today I could not believe my eyes! Hard on top of yet another police apology this time to the Dowler family we had news that the police were 'selling' our personal details to local garages, breakdown firms, lawyers and insurance companies! What on earth is going on? How can the politicians allow this practice without sacking every Chief Constable involved?
This indemic misbehaviour seems to have been introduced ever since senior officers were introduced to 'Common Purpose' training courses. Slowly the character of the British police has changed. Many of the senior officers appear on television and come across more like social workers than policemen. The media liaison officers are almost all women. Nothing wrong with that but they don't look as if they have come up the hard way.
Then in the same paper comes the case of the police dog handler who left two dogs in his car on a baking hot day so that they died. Apparently he has since tried to commit suicide! He is clearly not very bright and not very brave and would you believe...he had done it before! But then the character of so many of our police appears to come into question. Hardly a day seems to pass without some ludicrous story emerging which indicates that many of the officers are simply not up to the job. They are however, remarkably bomb proof.
I just wonder who decided to change the ethos of the English police (I don't think that it is so bad in Scotland) so that in fifty years they have turned our force into the utter mess it is today!